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Refresher: What to do when the recipient is absent

Delivery Driver Sitting In Van Using Digital Tablet

It’s very common for the recipient to be absent when you are doing a delivery, when that happens there is a strict process you should always follow to ensure the item eventually makes it safely to the recipient.

Scenario A
No one is home and the delivery instructions mention you can leave the item unattended.

  1. Double check you are at the correct address
  2. If it is an individual house, look for a safe place to leave the item, read below to see what constitutes a safe place. Always remember that in most cases, the client is not the recipient, therefore while the client may have mentioned that it is ok to leave the item unattended, they may not be aware whether there is a safe place or not.
  3. If there is no safe place to leave the item or if you are unsure (for instance, the address is in an apartment building), ALWAYS CONTACT THE CLIENT by clicking on the ‘Call’ button and ‘Sender’. If the client cannot be reached, then call ‘Sherpa Support’

Scenario B

No one is home and the delivery instructions do not mention if you have authority to leave the item.

  1. Assess whether or not there is a safe place to leave the item
  2. Contact the client to ask them what to do about the item and inform them whether there is a safe place or not to help their decision.


  1. Alcohol products CAN NEVER be left unattended.
  2. Always be 100% certain you are at the right address.
  3. Use the photo option if the client gives your approval to leave item unattended
    • Take a picture of the item that clearly identifies WHERE the items have been left
    • If you leave items at an apartment unit, make sure you capture the unit number on the picture
  4. Use the signature option if the recipient is home
  5. If the client does not wish you to leave the item unattended, contact the Sherpa team and we will log a return delivery back to the store for which you will get paid.

What is a safe place?
A safe place means a place where the item will neither get stolen or damaged. To assess whether a place is safe or not, check the following:

  1. How likely is the item to be seen by passers-by?
  2. Is the item in a covered area (in case it rains)?
  3. How would you feel if you were the one the item was delivered to? Would it feel like an area you would want your item to be left?